Thursday, March 11, 2010

Internet Usage In China Explodes - Can Google Really Afford It?

We've all heard the news over recent months, of the potential 'pull out' of Google from China. With the statistics published earlier this year by the China Internet Network Information Center, the size of the market that the search giant would be forfeiting is actually mind boggling.

CNNIC (China's "official domain registry and research organization") reported in their January 2010 numbers, that there were 384 million internet users at the end of 2009 (50% more than at the end of 2008)... to put this in perspective, the current entire population of the USA right now, sits at just under 309 million men, women and children.

Furthermore, due to the launch of 3G networks on the mainland last year, the number of Chinese people accessing the internet via a mobile device more than doubled, with as many as 233 million people surfing 'on the go'.

Some other very interesting (amazing) statistics published in the latest "McKinsey Quarterly" report, include:

>> People in the 60 largest cities in China spend around 70 percent of their leisure time on the Internet (in smaller towns, the number sits at about 50 percent).

>> People in China use the Internet more for entertainment than for work (the most common activities include playing online games, messaging, downloading music and movies, and shopping).

>> One in five Chinese consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 won’t purchase a product or service without first researching it on the Internet.

>> The volume of e-commerce in China more than doubled last year.

>> Online advertising in China has been growing at between 20 and 30 percent a year (more than double the growth rate of print media).

>> The total size of the online advertising market in China was around US$3 billion (20 billion RMB) last year.

And finally, the most important number for Google to take note of:

>> 50 million Chinese internet users cite Google as their current favourite search engine.

Final Thoughts: I've complained many times that Aussie Pete blog is often blocked by the China GFW (China Great Fire Wall) and at times unblocked again - the fact that my settings point to Google DNS servers, I suspect that unless I change hosts soon, my blog and sites will be permanently inaccessible - something that I need to think very, very seriously about!!


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